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Facebook Under Fire; Pandora Papers; Afghanistan Violence; Fall Of Afghanistan; California Oil Spill; UK Fuels Crisis. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 05, 2021 - 01:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again. Welcome back viewers joining us from around the world. I'm John Vause. Coming up here on CNN Newsroom.

Facebook's terrible horrible. No good, very bad week is getting worse for the global outage on the eve of testimony from a whistleblower, detailing how the company knew that spreading hate and anger and misinformation was good for the bottom line.

Could depression have an off switch? Researchers make a groundbreaking discovery and treating mental illness.

And meet the man who wrote the signature bond theme that unmistakable surf rock style guitar riff first heard and got to know.

UNIDENTAIFIED MALE: Live from CNN Center. This is CNN Newsroom with John Vause.

VAUSE: A former Facebook employee turned whistleblower says the company knows it's harming society and is hiding the research that proves it in order to protect its profits. Frances Haugen is scheduled to testify to Congress in the coming hours and has handed over tens of thousands of internal Facebook documents.

She warns that Facebook could destroy her. In prepared remarks, she's expected to tell lawmakers, I believe what I did was right and necessary for the common good. But I know Facebook has infinite resources, which it could use to destroy me.

Facebook released a statement denying all the allegations and pointing to what it called a significant investment to keep the platform safe.

On the eve of her testimony, Facebook was forced to apologize Monday for a massive global outage, which shut out it's 3 billion users for hours including Instagram and WhatsApp. Services have slowly returned to normal. Facebook is blaming the problem on a faulty configuration change and says there is no evidence that user data was ever compromised.

Josh Golin is the executive director of Fairplay, a group which is leading the campaign to stop the new children's version of Instagram from ever being released by Facebook. He joins us this hour from Watertown, Massachusetts.

Josh, thank you for your time.

JOSH GOLIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FAIRPLAY: Thanks so much for having me.

VAUSE: I want to start with something Facebook's vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg said to CNN. Here he is.


NICK CLEGG, FACEBOOK VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS: I think the one thing which is deeply misleading is this idea that we commissioned research, then deliberately brush it under the carpet because we don't like the implications of that research because somehow we like to have bad non-pleasant content on our platform. Of course, we don't.


VAUSE: Isn't that precisely what's been exposed by the whistleblower?

GOLIN: Well, I think that's really interesting, because I, you know, I would actually agree, they don't necessarily want to have bad content on their platforms. But the thing is, they don't care what kind of content they have. So Facebook, all they care about is that we keep watching, that we keep going to Facebook, that we keep posting, that we keep commenting.

And it turns out that the things that keep us posting and keep us coming back over and over again is angry content, is rabbit holes, is misinformation, is conspiracy theories. So that's why Facebook promotes all those things. That's it's not because they're setting out to harm society or setting out to harm children. It's just because they measure the absolute wrong things. The only thing they care about is engagement, because that's what drives Facebook's profits. And that leads to a lot and lot and a lot of bad content.

VAUSE: Yes. In fact, according to Facebook's own research, one study says 13.5 percent of teen girls say Instagram makes thoughts of suicide worse. 17 percent of teen girls say Instagram makes eating disorders worse. And here's the whistleblower Frances Haugen, who on our Instagram magnifies those problems.


FRANCES HAUGEN, FACEBOOK WHISTLEBLOWER: With super tragic is Facebook's own research says, as these young women begin to consume this eating disorder content, they get more and more depressed. And it actually makes them use the app more. And so they end up in this feedback cycle where they hate their bodies more and more.

Facebook's own research says it is not just the Instagram is dangerous for teenagers that are harms teenagers is that it is distinctly worse than other forms of social media. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: How is this any different from Big Tobacco knowing as far back as 1959 smoking cause cancer but refusing to say so publicly will also know even earlier than that the nicotine was addictive.

GOLIN: I think the comparisons to Big Tobacco are very apt you hear you have an company that wants to get kids as young as possible, wants to hook them on Instagram not for the money that they can necessarily make off of young children at that moment, but to keep them on the platform for life because they know a lifetime user just like a lifetime smoker is worth a heck of a lot of money.

Facebook is casting doubt on other people on academic research when they're suppressing their own research. So I think the comparisons are very apt. And it's hard to argue right now that Facebook isn't just like Big Tobacco.

VAUSE: I want you to listen to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. He was talking back in March. Listen to this.



MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: The research that we've seen is that using social apps to connect with other people, can have positive mental health benefits and well-being benefits, like helping people feel more connected and less lonely.


VAUSE: And more doctors adores Camel cigarettes than any other brand. Clearly, Facebook cannot be trusted to make a full disclosure. What should Congress be doing? And not just about Facebook, but all social media platforms?

GOLIN: Well, I think the first thing that Facebook, I'm sorry, that Congress should do is they should launch and immediate investigation of Facebook, and they should demand all of their research and all of their plans regarding children, because the whistleblower may have only revealed the tip of the iceberg. And we need to know exactly what Facebook knows about how its platforms are harming children and what its plans are, because that's really important for all of us to know.

But we should also be passing laws like updates to the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act, which are now in front of Congress and Senator Markey, his KIDS Act, which would restrict platforms from amplifying harmful content to children.

Because ultimately, we need to regulate not just Facebook, but all of these social media platforms that have this really exploited a business model that rely on getting kids to be online as much as possible. So they can collect as much data from them as possible and deliver as many ads as possible. And ultimately, that business model is terrible for children. And so we need to regulate companies like Facebook to prevent them from harming kids.

VAUSE: And just to bring this full circle, it's fair to say in your opinion, at least Facebook may not have started out intending to do harm. But it's been more than willing to maximize profits after finding out that tapping into anger and outrage and other negative emotions kept users on the platform for longer.

GOLIN: Absolutely. Whenever Facebook is faced with a choice between its profits and the well-being of society or the well-being of children, they choose their own profits, which is why we need regulators to step in.

VAUSE: Yes, a good point. Josh, good point finish on. Josh Golin, Executive Director of Fairplay. Thanks for being with us.

GOLIN: Thanks so much.

VAUSE: The Biden administration says the Treasury Department is deeply engaged in revelations found in the Pandora Papers and investigation exposing the hidden dealings of some of the world's wealthy elite, including the King of Jordan. He's one of hundreds of politicians, public officials and billionaires and celebrities named in the years long, far reaching investigation by a group of international journalists, which sheds light on how some hide their wealth and fortune. CNN's Matthew Chance has details reporting from Moscow.


GERALD RYLE, INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS DIRECTOR: This is Pandora Papers, because we think we're opening a box on a lot of things.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one of the world's biggest ever leaks of financial documents, nearly 12 million private files, exposing the secret wealth of world leaders, billionaires and celebrities and crucially where it's stashed.

RYLE: These documents for the very first time is actually showing the U.S. as a tax haven itself.

ABDULLAH II, KING OF JORDAN: Acts collectively in facing this unprejudiced --

CHANCE: Among those profile is King Abdullah of Jordan, whose nation benefits from hundreds of millions of dollars every year in international aid, including from the United States. The Pandora Papers allege the King funneled more than $100 million into 14 luxury homes in Britain and the U.S., including three mansions in Malibu overlooking the Pacific coast.

In a written statement, the Jordanian Royal Court said the allegations included inaccurate and distorted the facts saying these properties are not publicized out of security and privacy concerns are not out of secrecy or an attempt to hide them. Other leaders, like the Czech Prime Minister facing elections this week, are under more immediate pressure. He says allegations he secretly bought a lavish estate on the French Riviera by moving $22 million through offshore shell companies with timed to damage his campaign.

I've never done anything unlawful or bad, he tweeted in response, but that does not prevent them from trying to slander me again and to influence the Czech parliamentary elections, he added.

RYLE: We're talking about some of the most famous people in the world that are in these documents, presidents, Prime Ministers.

CHANCE: Most of the transactions detailed in the papers are not illegal. But some of the figures named are no strangers to allegations of corruption. For instance, the Pandora Papers contains documents linking the Russian President Vladimir Putin to a multi-million dollar property in Monaco to lobby pictured here bought for a woman with whom is alleged to have had an affair and a child.

The Kremlin refuses to comment on Putin's private life, saying it's never heard of the woman concerned. And on the Pandora allegations, Putin spokesman told reporters they were unsubstantiated and would not be investigated further.


LAKSHMI KUMAR, GLOBAL FINANCIAL INTEGRITY POLICY DIRECTOR: The financial centers of the world, like the U.S., Europe leaders are able to funnel and siphon money away and hide it in these jurisdictions through the use of anonymous companies.

CHANCE: Of course, it's not just politicians implicated in the Pandora Papers, top business figures, even music items like Shakira, who denies any wrongdoing have also had private financial dealings exposed in the data release, shedding light on the secret assets of the super rich. Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


VAUSE: A new investigation by Amnesty International accuses Taliban forces of killing ethnic Hazaras shortly after the Taliban reclaim power in Afghanistan. Amnesty sites I witness accounts from Central Afghanistan in late August that say among those killed were nine former government soldiers who surrendered, a teenage girl as she attempted to flee. The report will heighten concerns that ethnic and religious minorities including the large Shia Hazara ethnic group, once again, being targeted as they were under the previous Taliban rule.

Well, slowly and deliberately, it seems to tell about our winding back 20 years of progress in women's rights in Afghanistan. If there was any hope for a more tolerant, more inclusive television government, those hopes have been dashed in recent weeks as the fundamentalist Islamist implement their harsh brutal version of Sharia law. And in many cases, edicts and new rules are not even necessary. Many women know what they need to do to survive in this new reality. Here CNN's Clarissa Ward reporting in from Kabul.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A handful of women stand quietly but defiantly. They're here to protest the Taliban's de facto ban on girls going to school after fifth grade, small act of great courage.

Taliban fighters start to pour in their heavily armed presence a menacing question mark.

A new arrival appears unsure of whether to get out of the car.

For a moment, it seems the Taliban may have come to protect the women. But the illusion is quickly shattered.

(on camera): Someone from the Taliban has just come in telling everyone to put away their cameras. It's getting a little tense over there.

(voice-over): The senior Talib (ph) rips the phone out of one woman's hands. His men shoved journalists back.

We try to keep filming but the Taliban don't want the world to see. They're ripping of women's posters. No, put it away, put it away, put it away.

A machine gun burst sends a clear message. The protest is over.

(INAUDIBLE) tells us he is the head of the Taliban's Intelligence Services in Kabul, and that the women did not have permission to protest.

(on camera): Why does a small group of women asking for their right to be educated threaten you so much?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I respect women's rights. I respect human rights, he says. If I didn't respect women, you wouldn't be standing here.

WARD: Would you have given them permission if they had asked for one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes, of course he says. We would have.

WARD (voice-over): But permissions are elusive, and previous protests have met a similar fate. On the streets of Khair Khana neighborhood, the consequences of one recent demonstration can still be seen. At almost every beauty salon images of women's faces have been defaced as if to erase them from public life completely.

The women inside this salon are too scared to appear on camera.

Hi. How are you?

I asked them about the posters outside. Who did it?


WARD: The Taliban did it?


WARD: The Taliban came and drove away the protesters. Then they cursed us and said to remove the posters. They tell me. They told us to put on a Burqa and sit in our homes.

But this city is full of brave women like Arzo Khaliqyar who refuse to do that. The activist and mother of five says she was forced to become a taxi driver when her husband was murdered one year ago, leaving behind his car, but little else.

(on camera): Tell me a little bit about how life has changed for you since the Taliban took power.

ARZO KHALIQYAR, TAXI DRIVER (through translator): A lot of changes. Too many. I'm sorry. Sorry.

WARD: It's OK. Take your time. It's OK.

KHALIQYAR: Since the Taliban regime has come to power, it has become very difficult.

WARD (voice-over): She offers to take us for a ride. It's another small act of courageous resistance.


Well, the Taliban have not officially banned women from driving. She says she has received threats and that the militants hit her car two weeks ago as a warning.

(on camera): I see the men they stare at you.

KHALIQYAR: Yes, yes, yes.

WARD: They look at you.

(voice-over): It's not long before she picks up fair. Usually she prefers to take women and stay in areas she's familiar with.

Are you aware of the risks that you're taking when you go out every day and do your work?

KHALIQYAR (through translator): Yes, yes, in some places where I see Taliban checkpoints, I'm forced to go through a street or change my route. But I accepted this risk for the sake of my children.

WARD (voice-over): On the other side of town, English teacher Atifa Watanyar is also working hard to give her students a better future.

The past year has not been easy.

In May, a horrific bombing targeted the Sayed Al-Shuhada school where she teaches taking more than 80 innocent lives.

(on camera): So you were here when the explosions happened?


WARD: You were in front of the door. Did you see it with your own eyes?

WATANYAR: Yes, yes. I saw a really huge explosion in front of the other door.

WARD (voice-over): Incredibly, the school reopened. But weeks later, the Taliban swept to power and announced that for the time being from sixth through 12th grade, only boys should come to school.

(on camera): It's just very striking that a bomb was not able to stop these girls for coming from school.


WARD: But now the Taliban has been able to stop them from coming to school.

WATANYAR: Yes, it's true. Every day, I see Taliban in the street. I become -- I be afraid.

WARD: But you're still coming here every day. You're still teaching.

WATANYAR: Yes. What should we do? What should we do? It's just the thing that we can do for our children, for our daughters, for our girls.

WARD (voice-over): In the fifth grade classroom, the girls are excited to test their English skills.

(on camera): I want you to raise your hand if you love school.

Wow. Everybody loves school.

(voice-over): This may well be the last year they get to come and study, yet they are still full of hope for the future.

Raise your hands Tell me what you want to be when you grow up. What do you want to be?


WARD: Doctor? OK. Who else wants to be a doctor? Oh wow. There are a lot of doctors.

16-year-old Sanam used to have dreams too. She wanted to be a dentist. The explosion at her school left her with serious injuries, but she was brave enough to go back for the sake she says of her close friend who could not.

SANAM BAHNIA, INJURED IN THE TERROR ATTACK (through translator): I felt that I must go back and study with a piece of her soul. I must study and build my country so that I can make her wishes and dreams come true.

WARD (on camera): So right now you cannot go to school. How does that make you feel?

BAHNIA (through translator): I feel Oh my dreams are crushed and burried. For I won't be allowed to go school and study. All my motivation is completely gone.

WARD: It's OK. Take a minute. It's OK. If you want to stop, we can stop. It's OK.

BAHNIA (through translator): No. The Taliban are the people who -- they are the cause of the situation I'm in right now. My spirit is gone. My dreams are buried.

WARD (voice-over): And yet recently she has started to read her books again and study a little bit every day. Just one more small act of great courage. Clarissa Ward, CNN, Kabul.


VAUSE: Still to come here on CNN, troops hauling fuel to petrol stations across the UK but Britain is not out of the woods not yet why more unintended consequences of Brexit could yet why ahead.



VAUSE: Authorities investigating the cause of a massive oil leak just off the coast of Southern California says ship's anchor may have damaged and ruptured a pipeline on the ocean floor. The owners of the pipeline say they may have located the spot where more than 100,000 gallons of oil has leaked, causing devastation to parts of the coastline and clean delicate wetlands as well as shutting down beaches.

After mother week, the worst of the UK petrol shortages may now be in the rearview mirror with the military helping with fuel deliveries across the country. But as CNN's Anna Stewart reports, the law (ph) of unintended consequences means disruptions to food production, hospitality, social care services are all on the horizon.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): It's become an all too familiar site. No fuel. The UK's fuel crisis is now into its second week. The military has stepped in to help. 200 members of the armed forces were deployed Monday to help get fuel to the filling stations that need it. (on camera): The crisis is easing but it's certainly not over yet. Particularly here in London and the southeast of England were according to a survey by the Petrol Retailers Association, one in five filling stations were empty on Monday morning.

(voice-over): After a morning delivery, this one is back open for business and the line is long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably takes about an hour, an hour and a half. So find the petrol station is open.

STEWART: Is it getting better?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. This is the only one I've found. I haven't found anywhere else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been to other stations. But thank God this one has something.

STEWART: A shortage of truck drivers in the UK is nothing new. It's been worsening for years, but it's been exacerbated by the pandemic and Brexit, which prompted an exodus of European workers. The government has issued 5,000 temporary visas for foreign truck drivers. But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson doesn't think immigration is the answer.

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: When people voted for change in 2016, when people voted for change again in 2019, as they did, they voted for the end of a broken model of the UK economy that relied on low wages and low skill and chronic low productivity. And we're moving away from that.

STEWART: It's not a short term fix but Britain's broken supply chains, which means further shortages can be expected in the months ahead. Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


VAUSE: Still to come, a revolutionary new treatment has literally turned off depression in one patient how an implant could treat what's called treatment resistant depression.

Also, the fallout continues with Facebook. New details reveal the extent to which the country's Instagram app could be harming young users. One us lawmaker fed up.


SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): These claims to protect children or take down accounts that may be dangerous or absolute hogwash.



[01:27:26] VAUSE: Welcome back, everyone. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN Newsroom. We're now on our top story. A former Facebook employee turned whistleblower will share his story on Capitol Hill in the coming hours. She says the company knew users were being harmed but buried his own research to protect profit.

Internal documents show Facebook repeatedly found that Instagram was toxic for young users, but made minimal effort to address the issue. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan has our report.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eternally starved, I have to be thin, skin and bone. All Instagram pages the platform's algorithm suggests an account registered to a 13-year-old girl should follow.

BLUMENTHAL: What we did was to create a 13-year-old who expressed interest in weight loss and dieting. And within a day she was flooded with recommendations for accounts concerning eating disorders and personal entry.

HAUGEN: And what's super tragic is Facebook's own research says, as these young women begin to consume this eating disorder content, they get more and more depressed, and it actually makes them use the app more. And so they end up in this feedback cycle where they hate their bodies more and more. Facebook's own research says it is not just that Instagram is dangerous for teenagers that are harms teenagers is that it is distinctly worse than other forms of social media.

O'SULLIVAN: That's whistleblower Frances Haugen, who leaked thousands of documents from Facebook, including the company's own research like this, a presentation about the dangers of Instagram for teenagers. We make body issues worse for one in three girls reads one slide. Teens who struggled with mental health say Instagram make it worse reads another.

Instagram said eternally starved I have to be thin, skin and bone. The accounts is had promoted through its algorithm broke the company's rules encouraging eating disorders, but they only remove the accounts after being contacted by CNN.

Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is a leading lawmaker calling for change.

BLUMENTHAL: This experience shows very graphically how these claims to protect children or take down accounts that may be dangerous to them are absolute hogwash. In fact, it was not taken down until CNN brought it to their attention.

O'SULLIVAN: A spokesperson for Instagram's parent company Facebook said it uses technology and reports from users to remove content that violates its rules on eating disorders as quickly as it can, adding they're always working to improve.


CHELSEA KRONENGOLD, SPOKESPERSON, NATIONAL EATING DISORDERS ASSOCIATION: With eating disorders and social media, we do know, that there is this social comparison (INAUDIBLE) it. So, the more time people spend on social media, and they are looking at accounts that may be inspiration or there's a term that's thinspiration or fitspiration.

We know that that can definitely increase social comparison, and therefore, result in negative body image, negative mental health.

O'SULLIVAN: And if you are affected by any of the issues we touched on in that story, here are some resources that might be able to help.

(on camera): Just want to underline what you saw in that piece. I mean quite remarkable, as far as Instagram knew, that was the account belonging to a real, 13-year-old girl.

And as soon as that account started liking content about dieting or eating disorders, Instagram's algorithm began recommending to that account, to that person, to that young person, to that child more and more accounts glorifying eating disorders.

We're going to be hearing a lot more about this here today in the U.S., as the Facebook whistleblower testifies before Congress.

Donie O'Sullivan, CNN, Washington.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Researchers in California, have used brain implant to help a patient suffering with debilitating and untreatable depression. The implant was earlier approved for treating for epilepsy. But researchers were able use it to target brain signals associated with depression.

A specialist on the team says, quote, "When we turn this treatment on, our patient's depression symptoms dissolve. And in a remarkably small time, she went into remission. It was like a switch.

Dr. Andrew Krystal is a professor of psychiatry and one of the two researchers at the University of California behind this groundbreaking work. He is with us this hour from San Francisco. Doctor Krystal, thank you for your time.


VAUSE: So you described this as the most remarkable experience in your psychiatric career. Is that, mostly because it was sort of instantaneously improvements you saw? Just tell me a little bit more about that sort of eureka moment, if you like?

DR. KRYSTAL: There are a number of aspects of this study, that have been just truly remarkable for me. I think one of them is the sense of seeing someone improve rapidly and dramatically. To have somebody say, I haven't felt this way in 10 years. This is my old self. It's incredibly moving.

But also this study involves a level of personalization. And that is the kind of thing that I always thought we should do, wish we could do throughout my career. And that is we used methods from epilepsy research and clinical practice, where we put electrodes into the brain, and stimulated in the areas that are most prominent (INAUDIBLE) for depression, and actually tested which one works the best for this patient.

That to me, is what where we need to be. We need to understand what is the best approach to take for each individual because people with depression, clearly vary amongst each other, the responsive treatment varies. And we had no way to select among the treatment options what's best for anybody.

And this experience really gave me a sense of the capacity to do that, and also the fact that it is possible to achieve a level of personalization that's really where we need to go.

VAUSE: Here's how it all works, this is as reported by Stat News. "By mapping out a depressed patient's brain circuitry, researchers were able to identify biological markers that told them symptoms were coming and implant a device to deliver targeted electrical stimulation and provide immediate relief, in something like a cranial call and response."

And in Sara's case, you actually found the part of the brain which was causing the high levels of depression, as well as the part of the brain which could essentially remedy that problem.

So just connect all this together, how does it all actually work?

DR. KRYSTAL: Well, once we have figured out the best place to stimulate, and this was in my view an important part of it as well, it led to some fundamental advances. We learned that stimulating the same place over and over leads to the same effect in terms of psychiatric symptoms.

I don't think that was really clear before. I think we maybe hoped that was true. So, what we did is we found where stimulation lined up best with our patients symptoms, even though there were a number of ways you could imagine that stimulation could've been helpful, like decreasing anxiety.

But she didn't have anxiety. She had low energy, low pleasure, low motivation.


DR. KRYSTAL: So, we chose that area to stimulate from and then we sought to identify a biomarker, a brain electrical activity pattern that we could record from our electrodes in the brain from a part of brain circuitry that is related to where we are stimulating that could detect when the symptoms were coming or present.

And we found that high frequency activity in a region of the brain called the amygdala started whenever she started to get depressed.

And so we then implemented that in the device, monitoring her constantly for detecting when that pattern emerged. Then, when it was present, that triggered the stimulation in the therapeutic area, which sort of taken together, they function as a sub circuit -- one stimulating, one recording, and sort of keeping things regulated, in what we call, a closed loop way, like a thermostat in your house might maintain the temperature. And this way she was able to have the stimulation triggered, only when needed.

VAUSE: Looking forward, looking to the big picture here, are there any ethical concerns that come with this ability to so precisely target emotional responses and in a way turn them off and on almost at will?

DR. KRYSTAL: I would say that for me, there is a very strong, ethical driver to this work. And that is, there are many people suffering from depression. Their quality of life is terrible, their lives are at risk from suicide, and this effort is targeted currently, at people who are the most severe, the most treatment resistant and suffering the most from these ill consequences of depression.

And I would say that my sense is that in those individuals, this risk is justified. I think that when we start working with stimulating the brain, I have to say, one of the things that made this remarkable for me where we started our conversation is how incredibly complex it is and daunting.

And we are just starting to learn about this. And I would say that what is awe-inspiring but to start to stimulate and to see what kind of responses are elicited, there is a huge amount more work to do.

VAUSE: It does sound like the dawn of a new era when it comes to treatment. And we wish you the very, very best of luck.

Dr. Andrew Krystal, thank you.

DR. KRYSTAL: Thank you very much.

VAUSE: When we come back, buffo (ph) box office for Bond, also the story behind 007's iconic theme.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.



VAUSE: The New James Bond film has opened internationally with a $121 million box office take, it's still to premier in the U.S. and China. "No Time To Die" is classic James Bond and that begins from almost the very beginning with that signature, surf-style guitar riff and gun barrel opening theme. The unmistakable sound of Bond for 60 years.

CNN's Christina Macfarlane spoke to the man who wrote that legendary soundtrack.



MONTY NORMAN, COMPOSER, JAMES BOND THEME: The song itself somehow has something in it that everybody recognizes. The first scene is in a gambling place and Sean looked great in a new tuxedo. He was sitting opposite a very beautiful woman. Tilt up, saw his face for the first time. He lit a cigarette and he says --

SEAN CONNERY, ACTOR: Bond. James Bond.

NORMAN: And at that moment, the Bond theme comes in.

Then from that moment onwards, Sean Connery was a star and the whole franchise was up and running.

CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): How did this theme tune come to life? How did you compose it?

NORMAN: I wrote a show called "A House For Mr. Biswas which had this (INAUDIBLE) book. He did the lyrics, and I did the music.

I was looking for the James Bond theme. I suddenly remembered a song that I had written and put in my bottom drawer because we didn't use it. It went, I was born with this unlucky sneeze and what is worse I came into the world the wrong way around.

And I suddenly thought -- why not split the notes? Then it became -- and immediately, I thought, this is it. This is just what we are looking for, a sinister, sexy song with all of the ambiance that it needed.

MACFARLANE: Over the years, the theme has been covered and reworked countless times. From John Barry's original orchestration for Dr. No -- to (INAUDIBLE) 90s interpretation for "Tomorrow Never Dies", always Monty's score shines through.

(on camera): So how does it feel to know that you have created this masterpiece that will outlive you? It has been going for this long, and even today, young children -- you know, young people recognize it instantly.

NORMAN: Absolutely.

MACFARLANE: How does it make you feel?

NORMAN: It was a marvelous show. I mean I just couldn't believe that we got there. I hope it goes on for at least another 25, and possibly longer. It probably will.


VAUSE: CNN's Christina Macfarlane with that report. And find a lot more from our Bond 25 series on our Website,

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. Rosemary Church will be here with the latest

headlines at the top of the hour.

"INSIDE AFRICA" is next.